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Second base has historically been one of the weaker positions in Fantasy Baseball, but in 2024, that looks like it might no longer be the case. 

We've got a first-rounder at the position in Mookie Betts, three more guys who often go inside the first three rounds, and 11 players with an ADP inside the first 10 rounds of a 12-team draft – that's the same number as both first and third base, historically much stronger positions for Fantasy, for the record.

Once you start to dig into the position, though … things look a little dicier than you might think. Of those super high-end options in the early rounds, Jose Altuve and Marcus Semien are both approaching their mid-30s, albeit with the kind of proven track record that makes it relatively easy to overlook their advanced ages. But still, there's risk whenever you're spending one of your most valuable picks on players at that age, because even a small dip in skills could really hold them back.

But where second base's apparent depth really starts to look flimsy is when you go a little deeper. The middle class of the position is full of names like Nico HoernerHa-Seong Kim, and Bryson Stott, who had excellent 2023 campaigns, but don't really have a track record of supporting that level of production. Look, every star player had to start somewhere – Semien looked like a one-year wonder until he did it again, you know. But, just look at someone like Andres Gimenez, who was big-time breakout in 2022 only to come back to earth in 2023 (with his price dropping roughly 40 picks in ADP since last year) to see the risk of buying in on last year's breakouts.

If the older guys can keep outrunning Father Time and the young guys prove it wasn't a fluke, second base will be a surprisingly deep position yet again. But there's a lot of risk all over the position, to the point where, at least for me, it was a lot easier to come up with bust candidates than breakouts here. If my skepticism ends up misplaced, I might miss out on some excellent values for my teams. But I could be avoiding some of 2024's biggest potholes. 

Consensus Rankings
Projections powered by Sportsline
LAD L.A. Dodgers • #50 • Age: 31
Fantasy Breakdown
ADP
3
Roto
5
Roto (OF)
4
H2H
2
H2H (OF)
2
2023 Stats
AVG
0.307
HR
39
R
126
RBI
107
SB
14
SO
107
The interesting thing here is, if you draft Betts in the first round, there's a pretty decent chance you'll end up using him as an outfielder, not a second baseman – outfield actually might be the bigger need for many Fantasy players. Betts took a huge step forward as a power hitter in 2023, clubbing a career-high 39 homers, and he credited that to an offseason visit to DriveLine's facilities to work on his bat speed. Which is to say, while some regression in the power department might not be unexpected, his career-high mark was the result of a conscious effort on Betts' part. He's a legitimate five-category stud at the top of an elite offense, with multi-positional eligibility. It's not at all unreasonable to start thinking about Betts as soon as Ronald Acuña is off the board, especially since he'll gain shortstop eligibility within the first week of the season, giving him even more flexibility.
ATL Atlanta • #1 • Age: 27
Fantasy Breakdown
ADP
31
Roto
23
Roto (2B)
2
H2H
21
H2H (2B)
2
2023 Stats
AVG
0.28
HR
33
R
96
RBI
109
SB
13
SO
107
Albies bounced back from a terrible 2022 with basically a repeat of his 2021 campaign, a good sign that it was just a bump in the road. He probably isn't as safe a bet for batting average as his .280 mark from 2023 would make you think, but there's plenty of value to be found in his profile even if he hits .255. Albies still does a disproportionate amount of his damage from the smaller side of his switch-hitting duties, but he also had his best season as a left-handed hitter in 2023, which could provide some stability to a profile that has been a bit inconsistent over the years. As the youngest of the second tier at the position, pushing him up a few spots on the draft board isn't a bad idea.
HOU Houston • #27 • Age: 33
Fantasy Breakdown
ADP
46
Roto
28
Roto (2B)
3
H2H
26
H2H (2B)
3
2023 Stats
AVG
0.311
HR
17
R
76
RBI
51
SB
14
SO
71
A useful rule of thumb to go by is to assume that Hall of Fame caliber players won't age like the rest of the player pool, and Altuve is proving to be a good example of that. Injuries have been an issue – he played just 90 games last season – but when Altuve is on the field, he's still a borderline elite contributor, with a per-150 game pace of 127 runs, 28 homers, 85 RBI, and 23 steals. The quality of contact data won't back it up, but it never has – Altuve's ability to "hit 'em where they ain't" is well established by this point, as is his ability to maximize his limited raw power by peppering the left field line with homers. There's risk here, but Altuve generally proves to be worth it.
TEX Texas • #2 • Age: 33
Fantasy Breakdown
ADP
17
Roto
27
Roto (2B)
4
H2H
28
H2H (2B)
4
2023 Stats
AVG
0.276
HR
29
R
122
RBI
100
SB
14
SO
110
Semien will probably always have his skeptics, but he's been a top-25 player in Fantasy in four of the past five seasons, with the shortened 2020 season the lone outlier. He's well into his 30s at this point, with middling quality of contact numbers, but like Altuve, his swing is well optimized to continue outrunning expectations. Don't overthink it with Semien … again.
CHC Chi. Cubs • #2 • Age: 26
Fantasy Breakdown
ADP
75
Roto
55
Roto (2B)
5
H2H
56
H2H (2B)
5
2023 Stats
AVG
0.283
HR
9
R
98
RBI
68
SB
43
SO
83
Hoerner has a kind of limited skill set, but where he excels, he's truly excellent. Hoerner is a contact specialist, with a microscopic whiff rate, and he has just enough juice in his bat to be capable of providing consistently useful batting averages. What pushes him up the board is the gigantic leap he took as a baserunner last season, going from 20 steals in 2022 to 43 last season – and with an 86% success rate that suggests there could be even more room for growth if he wants to be a bit more aggressive. I'm not counting on that, and some regression wouldn't necessarily be shocking, which raises some questions about how much the rest of the profile can make up for it – he'll provide little in HR or RBI, but should get around 100 runs, so he's probably a fine value. But the margin for error might not be that wide.
CIN Cincinnati • #9 • Age: 24
Fantasy Breakdown
ADP
59
Roto
61
Roto (SS)
10
H2H
68
H2H (SS)
10
2023 Stats
AVG
0.29
HR
16
R
65
RBI
50
SB
14
SO
115
It seems like the Reds have like seven different variations of players I can say the same thing for: If McLain hits his ceiling, he might be a top-25 player in Fantasy, capable of providing 25-25 production in a rapidly improving lineup, but the floor might be "He's back in Triple-A by May." McLain's success in the majors in 2023 should give us more confidence that the absolutely downside risk won't come to fruition, but there are definitely red flags here, from middling quality of contact metrics to legitimately concerning swing-and-miss issues. The upside is considerable, and could be worth chasing, but we shouldn't ignore the downside either. An extended early slump could really cost McLain playing time, and there just isn't a lot of similar risk in that range of the draft.
NYY N.Y. Yankees • #25 • Age: 27
Fantasy Breakdown
ADP
72
Roto
89
Roto (2B)
8
H2H
97
H2H (2B)
8
2023 Stats
AVG
0.273
HR
25
R
90
RBI
68
SB
13
SO
98
All of a sudden, Torres kind of feels a little underrated. He didn't make the big leap as a base stealer a lot of players did last season with the new rules in place, which may be why the likes of Kim and Hoerner have passed him by. But he had his best season as a hitter since his 38-homer 2019 campaign, with legimtiate improvements to his underlying skill set that make me think there might be even more room for growth. He cut his strikeout rate to a career-low 14.6%, and he did that without sacrificing quality of contact – in fact, his 386 expected wOBA on contact was his best since that 2019 season. Could Torres hit .285 with 25-plus homers and 15 steals? It's in play, and he'll either be at the top of or in the heart of a pretty tremendous lineup. There's a lot to like here, suddenly.
ARI Arizona • #4 • Age: 30
Fantasy Breakdown
ADP
67
Roto
95
Roto (2B)
9
H2H
85
H2H (2B)
7
2023 Stats
AVG
0.276
HR
25
R
94
RBI
82
SB
8
SO
109
As it turns out, all Marte needed to do was stay healthy to remind us that he's one of the very best hitters at his position. He doesn't run much anymore, which makes him kind of a loner at second base these days, but he's among the very best pure hitters at the position. He'll strike out at a below-average rate, he'll hit the ball hard (79th percentile in average exit velocity), and he'll spray line drives all over the field. Marte probably won't ever get back to hitting 30 homers like he did in 2019, but he should be a very solid, across-the-board contributor, whose injury history will keep his price lower than it perhaps should be.
SD San Diego • #7 • Age: 28
Fantasy Breakdown
ADP
149
Roto
90
Roto (2B)
7
H2H
104
H2H (2B)
9
2023 Stats
AVG
0.26
HR
17
R
84
RBI
60
SB
38
SO
124
Kim is a lot like Hoener, except without the standout contact skills. Kim's aren't bad, but a 20% strikeout rate is a lot harder to stomach when it comes with legitimately below average quality of contact metrics. There's some regression coming with the bat, so the real question here is whether Kim can run wild like he did in 2023, when he jumped from 14 steal attempts to a whopping 47. Kim is fast, but he doesn't have elite speed, so any regression in his steals pace makes it incredibly unlikely he'll provide a solid return on investment this season. It's a bet I have a hard time making on a 28-year-old who was drafted outside the top-250 this time last year.
PHI Philadelphia • #5 • Age: 26
Fantasy Breakdown
ADP
125
Roto
96
Roto (2B)
10
H2H
112
H2H (2B)
10
2023 Stats
AVG
0.28
HR
15
R
78
RBI
62
SB
31
SO
100
Everything I said about Hoerner and Kim earlier? Yeah, that pretty much sums up Stott, too. You'll get a very good batting average and a bunch of steals from him, but even his relatively paltry 15 homers last season might have been close to the ceiling, even in a very good home park. Stott wasn't as active on the basepaths as Kim or Hoerner, and his spot in the bottom half of the Phillies lineup limits counting stat opportunities, which explains the lower rankings. On the other hand, Stott's 91% success rate on steals suggests there could be plenty of room for growth there.
CLE Cleveland • Age: 25
Fantasy Breakdown
ADP
218
Roto
108
Roto (2B)
11
H2H
157
H2H (2B)
13
2023 Stats
AVG
0.251
HR
15
R
76
RBI
62
SB
30
SO
112
Everything I said about Hoerner, Kim, and Stott earlier? Yeah, that pretty much sums up Gimenez, with caveats. Gimenez is coming off a much worse showing in batting average in 2023, and his 2022 success there looks pretty flukey at this point – he hit .297, but with a .257 expected batting average. Otherwise, he's going to give us very similar production as those other guys, and while he's a much worse bet for average, that's a category that fluctuates so much from one year to the next that it might not be worth paying the premium for guys who don't exactly have a long track record, either. As a cheaper alternative to that profile, Gimenez actually makes some sense.
OAK Oakland • #46 • Age: 24
Fantasy Breakdown
ADP
182
Roto
123
Roto (3B)
NR
H2H
128
H2H (3B)
NR
2023 Stats
AVG
0.267
HR
14
R
40
RBI
32
SB
14
SO
82
Gelof doesn't have the advantages in either home park or lineup that McLain does, but the skill sets are pretty similar. I think it makes sense to prefer McLain, who carries more prospect pedigree and has those environmental factors working in his benefit. But Gelof put up a very similar rookie season to McLain, and while McLain's batting average was much better, his xBA was pretty much identical, so that might not be as much of an edge as it first seems. Preferring McLain makes some sense, but I'd rather pay the 10th-round price for Gelof than the fifth-round price for McLain.
Don't Forget About ...
Projections powered by Sportsline
MIA Miami • #3 • Age: 27
Fantasy Breakdown
ADP
107
Roto
151
Roto (2B)
13
H2H
134
H2H (2B)
12
2023 Stats
AVG
0.354
HR
10
R
71
RBI
69
SB
3
SO
34
Arraez was the No. 9 second baseman in Roto last season, so obviously, he's a value with both an ADP and ranking outside the top-12 at the position, right? Not so much. Per FanGraph's Auction Calculator tool, Arraez derived $13.9 out of his $15.4 value solely from his batting average, and while he's sure to be a standout in that regard, a repeat of his .354 average is probably asking for too much – he won a batting title in 2022 while hitting .316, and hit .314 after the All-Star break. If Arraez is just a very good source of average rather than a standard deviation or two ahead of the field, he's just a fringe starting option.
STL St. Louis • #16 • Age: 23
Fantasy Breakdown
ADP
151
Roto
172
Roto (2B)
15
H2H
185
H2H (2B)
14
2023 Stats
AVG
0.236
HR
27
R
59
RBI
76
SB
7
SO
148
Injuries limited Gorman to just 48 games after July 1, which makes it hard to know whether his .239/.340/.503 line and 40-homer pace were just another example of a streaky hitter getting hot, or if it was a talented young player starting to figure things out. There are significant red flags in this profile, most notably with regards to strikeouts, but Gorman actually held his own against left-handed pitching and the power here is legitimate – he was in the 87th percentile in expected slugging percentage and looks like a legitimate 35-homer threat. Viewed from a certain angle, Gorman kind of looks like a cheaper, 2B-eligible Kyle Schwarber.
CIN Cincinnati • #6 • Age: 27
Fantasy Breakdown
ADP
200
Roto
200
Roto (2B)
17
H2H
187
H2H (2B)
15
2023 Stats
AVG
0.244
HR
17
R
78
RBI
61
SB
14
SO
109
Trying to figure out where India is going to play is a tough task, but if that were the only question here, it'd be pretty easy to draft a guy who was on a 21-homer, 18-steal pace last season (over 150 games). The problem is, there are playing time concerns in Cincinnati and India feels like the most obvious candidate if the Reds opt to make a trade at some point, and leaving Cincy's small ballpark wouldn't be a good thing for India's value. He seems like a solid, well-rounded bat, with some underlying numbers that suggest he might have been better than his surface level numbers in 2023. But there are enough questions that you probably don't want to rely on India as much more than a MI option if you wait, especially with his plantar fasciitis issues lingering into spring after they derailed his second half in 2023.
MIN Minnesota • #47 • Age: 24
Fantasy Breakdown
ADP
281
Roto
230
Roto (2B)
19
H2H
224
H2H (2B)
18
2023 Stats
AVG
0.263
HR
16
R
60
RBI
37
SB
3
SO
128
Julien might be destined to be a "better in real life than Fantasy" guy, but it would be unfair to write him off like that just yet. He's going to be an OBP standout who might hurt you in batting average, and he might just be a platoon bat (.447 OPS against lefties last season, albeit in just 48 PA), so he could be a league-specific option – better in OBP and daily formats, worse in your standard leagues. But we're talking about a 24-year-old with a good minor-league track record that showed a well-rounded base of skills who also held his own in the majors as a rookie. There's a narrow path to must-start Fantasy status, but it might be a mistake to pigeon-hole Julien this early in his career.
TB Tampa Bay • #8 • Age: 29
Fantasy Breakdown
ADP
326
Roto
245
Roto (2B)
22
H2H
259
H2H (2B)
21
2023 Stats
AVG
0.231
HR
21
R
58
RBI
68
SB
7
SO
119
Here are Lowe's per-162-game averages over the past five seasons: .246 average, 35 homers, 96 RBI, 93 runs, and eight steals. The problem, of course, is that he's played just 64% of the Rays games in that span, missing significant time over the past two seasons with back injuries. They didn't seem to impact his play in 2023 the way they did in 2022, which is the good news – if Lowe stays healthy, he should be one of the premiere power threats at the position. That feels like an awfully big if, but the risk is largely mitigated at his current cost. I'm going to draft a lot of Lowe this season.
Sleeper
Projections powered by Sportsline
LAD L.A. Dodgers • #9 • Age: 26
Fantasy Breakdown
ADP
284
Roto
NR
Roto (2B)
27
H2H
NR
H2H (2B)
26
That trip Mookie Betts took to DriveLine's facilities last year to increase his bat speed? Lux made the same trip, only we never got to see the results of it because he tore his ACL in spring training. Whatever optimism there was around Lux this time a year ago has largely disappeared, but if reports that he added 6 mph to his bat speed last year were true, there could still be breakout potential. There are certainly questions about how he'll look coming off the torn ACL, and Lux's defense was problematic enough this spring to justify a move down the defensive spectrum, which is a significant concern for his playing time. But yuou could also look at it this way: The Dodgers were also willing to move Betts to shortstop to try to keep Lux's bat in the lineup. I still think there's plenty of upside at a miniscule price here.
Breakout
Projections powered by Sportsline
OAK Oakland • #46 • Age: 24
Fantasy Breakdown
ADP
182
Roto
123
Roto (3B)
NR
H2H
128
H2H (3B)
NR
2023 Stats
AVG
0.267
HR
14
R
40
RBI
32
SB
14
SO
82
If all Gelof does is repeat his 2023 across 150 games, he'd be a pretty huge breakout – his per-150-game pace would have seen him contribute 87 runs, 30 homers, 30 steals, and 70 RBI to go along with a .267 average. That's early-round kind of production. Projection systems don't see Gelof pulling that off, and his cavernous home park is going to work against him. But we're also talking about a guy who had 30 homers and 30 steals in 169 games between Double-A and Triple-A despite never showing up on top-100 prospect lists, so it's not exactly impossible. He might just be one of those guys who fell between the cracks in the prospect industrial complex, and that might still be held against him. Skepticism isn't an unreasonable response to Gelof's rookie season, but it's not the only one.
Bust
Projections powered by Sportsline
SD San Diego • #7 • Age: 28
Fantasy Breakdown
ADP
149
Roto
90
Roto (2B)
7
H2H
104
H2H (2B)
9
2023 Stats
AVG
0.26
HR
17
R
84
RBI
60
SB
38
SO
124
As I mentioned in the intro, there are plenty of directions you could go with in this spot, but Kim is the 2023 breakout I'm probably most skeptical about. His quality of contact didn't come close to backing up his apparent growth as a hitter, with his hard-hit rate and average exit velocity both dropping from 2022 to 2023. If he still comes close to steal 40 bases again, it may not matter, but that's another place where it's fair to be skeptical – he had just 12 steals in 2022, after all, which is a massive jump even given the new rules. The Padres might have figured they needed to find more ways to manufacture runs given their team-wide struggles with runners on base, and if they regress there, it could lower the incentives to let Kim run wild. This feels like a profile with an especially slim margin for error, and with steals so easy to find these days, I just can't justify reaching into the top 100 for Kim.
2023 Draft Prep
Second Base Top Prospects

From Scott White's 2024 Top-100 prospects column.

1. Termarr Johnson, 2B, Pirates

Age (on opening day): 19
Where he played in 2023: Low-A, High-A
Minor-league stats: .244 BA (349 AB), 18 HR, 10 SB, .860 OPS, 101 BB, 120 K
Johnson's hit tool, which was enough to get him drafted fourth overall in 2022 despite his 5-foot-8 stature and limited defensive profile, went from being his biggest strength to his biggest question mark in his first full professional season, but it's not all bad news. He reached base at a .422 clip, delivered exit velocities far surpassing expectations and cut his strikeout rate to 20.5 percent over the final three months.
Scott's 2024 Fantasy impact: don't count on it

2. Ronny Mauricio, 2B, Mets

Age (on opening day): 22
Where he played in 2023: Triple-A, majors
Minor-league stats: .292 BA (490 AB), 23 HR, 24 SB, .852 OPS, 35 BB, 97 K
Majors-league stats: .248 BA (101 AB), 2 HR, 7 SB, .643 OPS, 7 BB, 31 K
A torn ACL in winter ball ended Mauricio's 2024 hopes before they even began, but he made a strong enough impression in his late-2023 trial to justify the year-long wait. He delivered the Mets' hardest-hit ball of the year in his very first at-bat and went 7 for 7 on stolen bases, demonstrating exactly the sort of power/speed profile that Fantasy Baseballers covet. He could use the time off to improve his swing decisions, though.
Scott's 2024 Fantasy impact: don't count on it

3. Jace Jung, 2B, Tigers

Age (on opening day): 23
Where he played in 2023: High-A, Double-A
Minor-league stats: .265 BA (486 AB), 28 HR, .878 OPS, 79 BB, 139 K
Jung already carried plenty of name value as the younger brother of Josh Jung and finally began to live up to it over the final three months of 2023, during which he hit .290 (75 for 259) with 16 homers and a .940 OPS. Much of that production came after his move to Double-A, which suggests he's pretty close to being major league-ready.
Scott's 2024 Fantasy impact: midseason hopeful

4. Thomas Saggese, 2B, Cardinals

Age (on opening day): 21
Where he played in 2023: Double-A, Triple-A
Minor-league stats: .306 BA (555 AB), 26 HR, 12 SB, .903 OPS, 52 BB, 144 K
For as good as the overall numbers look, Saggese hit .351 with 20 homers and a 1.076 OPS over his final 73 games at Double-A, and he's been punching above his weight for long enough that it's time to take him seriously. He's so uniquely talented at angling the ball for maximum damage that it's fair to presume conventional evaluation methods simply don't do him justice.
Scott's 2024 Fantasy impact: midseason hopeful